Maria’s Approach to Somatic Coaching
This page is designed to answer your questions before we begin working together. You’ll learn about my approach to somatic coaching as well as the different therapeutic approaches I offer to meet your specific needs.
How would you describe your approach?
My approach as a coach is best described as integrative. This means I bring together a number of therapeutic approaches and unify them into a unique working model just for you.
My approach to somatic coaching is also very holistic. My goal is to help you channel your inner driving force in a harmonious direction. This can be likened to a stream that flows between rocks. Your inner force is the water that is constantly rushing forward. By carefully placing rocks in that stream—these rocks can be physical, spiritual, mental or emotional—you can learn to channel your inner force in a positive, healthy and ever forward moving direction.
What areas can I address in somatic coaching?
In coaching we address specific personal projects, business successes, general conditions and transitions in your personal life, relationships or profession such as:
- Relationships and Intimacy
- Stress Management and Balance
- Spirituality and Personal Growth
- Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development
- Career Planning and Development
- Motivation and Time Management
- Creativity for Artists
- Health, Aging, Lifestyle and Self-Care
- And much more
Are you a psychotherapist as well as a coach?
I have many years of experience as a psychotherapist with training in a variety of techniques such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Hypnotherapy. However, in 2015 I began a shift away from traditional therapy and into Somatic Coaching. Rather than focusing on past problems my focus with clients is now on future goals and the overall development and growth of the individual. Basically, this coaching approach encompasses your entire body and is much more results-driven and future oriented than traditional therapy. While I still benefit from my years of experience as a therapist, I find that Somatic Coaching attracts clients that are committed to meaningful and purposeful lives.
What are some of the methods or approaches you utilize?
My approach to somatic coaching creates a much higher self-awareness than traditional psychotherapy and personal-development coaching. This is because rather than focusing solely on thoughts and emotions, somatic coaching incorporates your entire body.
As a somatic coach I use a variety of approaches. This enables us to have great flexibility as we collaborate together to choose a method that feels comfortable and will best meet your needs.
Self-relations (or Generative Coaching) serves as a foundation for my work. Self-relations focuses on the crucial relationship between a person and their own self with the primary objective to awaken and promote a unique intimate relationship in a person’s experience. You heal in relationships—your relationship with yourself, with your loved ones and with the world around you. Relationships allow you to “reconnect” with your inner-self.
Some of the methods I’ve studied in-depth and often use in my approach to somatic coaching include:
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) – This is a set of guiding principles, attitudes and techniques about real life behavior. NLP allows you to change, adopt or eliminate behaviors as you desire. It also gives you the ability to choose your mental, emotional, and physical states of well-being.
Hypnotherapy – I found that hypnosis facilitates emotional and or behavioral change. It creates a deeply relaxed state in which mental stress and bodily tension is reduced. In this greater state of learning, the mind is more open to the process of change because the analytical mind is far less active. In this way, you and I can safely work together to enhance mental, physical and emotional well-being.
Hakomi – Mindfulness based self study is one of the pioneering forms of body-centered therapies. Hakomi relies on mindfulness of body sensations, emotions, and memories to establish and enhance communication between conscious and unconscious, and between mind and body.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy – is a body-centered psychotherapy that makes it possible for clients to discover the habitual and automatic attitudes, both physical and psychological, by which they generate patterns of experience. This gentle therapy teaches clients to follow the inherently intelligent processes of body and mind to promote healing. It is particularly helpful in working with the effects of trauma and abuse, emotional pain, and limiting belief systems. Through the use of simple experiments, unconscious attitudes are brought to consciousness where they can be examined, understood, and changed. A synthesis of somatic therapy and the Hakomi Method of Body-Centered Psychotherapy developed by Ron Kurtz in the 1980’s, and from which it evolved, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy has gained international acclaim.
The Feldenkrais Method ~ Awareness Through Movement – I have been studying and practicing the somatic reeducation method since 2010. With the Feldenkrais Method I use gentle movement and directed attention with the aim of increasing ease and range of motion, improving flexibility and coordination and ultimately rediscovering an innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. It is especially successful in training the nervous system to find new pathways around areas of damage and or disconnection.
What is your philosophy on healing?
Our society seems to view healing as a matter of fixing what’s broken. I believe that everyone has the inner resources within themselves to heal. No one is broken but there are times when we’re disconnected from ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually or emotionally.
Which is why I love somatic coaching,a process that enhances our strengths. I believe we all come equipped with an exceptional sense of inner intuition, a sense of knowing that is intimately linked to our physical experience. Unfortunately, due to our upbringing and life experiences we often learn to disconnect from that in order to adapt and survive in our environment.
As your coach my job is to help you reconnect with your own inner experience embracing whatever arises within, with peaceful awareness and clear intention. In the process, you have the freedom to experience joy, grief, anger, amusement, pain, energy – the full emotional range. And discover the strength of developing and cultivating a patient attitude that allows the emotions to flow according to their own natural rhythm.I believe healing can be a lifelong process as we continue to look for ways to function at a higher level in relation to our world.
What is your personality like?
I love people. I’m curious to learn who they are, how they operate and what their personal belief system and personal strategies are. When coaching it’s like I’m holding a mirror and reflecting back to my clients what makes them beautiful and unique. I model a welcoming attitude to life by being open and flexible and creating meaningful rituals. I am also fearless. This quality is often necessary when we need to push through obstacles in therapy that may appear insurmountable.
Does your approach to Somatic Coaching address physical complaints?
Yes. I utilize body-centered coaching because I firmly believe there is a strong connection between mind and body. Often, the sensation of pain acts as our body’s warning sign that something is off balance and needs immediate attention. Also, most people find that the pain experience is worse if they are anxious. I find Hypnotherapy to be very effective in decreasing pain. The hypnotic inductions gently guide you into a deeper state of relaxation, progressively relaxing muscles and nerves, while promoting a deep sense of inner calm. With repeated use, individuals learn how to do their self-hypnosis, and their body accumulates their own form of memory for the relaxation experience. Hypnotic suggestions are also included to promote a deeper healing sleep and to enhance the positive effects of exercise, nutrition, and any medications you are using. Physical problems often lessen dramatically when we are able to relax and tap into the underlying issues.
My office is located in downtown Ashland, Oregon. You’ll walk into an office with a beautiful fountain and lots of greenery. I’ve designed my office with warm colors and dark woods to enhance the sense of comfort and serenity.
Do I have to meet with you in-person or can we work together online via Skype?
Yes, your sessions can be held via Skype. This works well for clients that don’t live near office in Ashland, Oregon or for those that like the added convenience of meeting online.
How often should I schedule my visits? Can I reach you between sessions?
Generally I recommend that we start with weekly 60 minute sessions to establish our rapport and build some momentum in our work together. Later, we may decide to meet once or twice a month depending on your circumstances. I also offer different packages depending on your needs.
I understand that it’s important that I be available between sessions. I use a voice mail system and return calls within 24 hours.
How do I get started?
Schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me so we can explore a coaching partnership. We can meet in-person, by phone or via Skype. Please contact me to get your free consultation scheduled.